Today in History:

William H. Brown (1861-1865)

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USS William H. Brown, a 200-ton stern-wheel river steamer, was built at Monongahela, Pennsylvania, in 1860 for commercial employment. Acquired by the War Department in June 1861 and transferred to the Navy in September 1862, she served on the Western Rivers as a dispatch and transport vessel throughout the Civil War. On 13 April 1864, while assisting USS Chillicothe during the Red River expedition, she was hit by Confederate artillery fire. Decommissioned and sold in August 1865, William H. Brown operated as a merchant steamer until about 1875.

This page features our only view of USS William H. Brown.

Photo #: NH 60352

USS William H. Brown (1862-1865)


Tied up by a Western Rivers shore, during the Civil War.



Photo #: NH 51799

Red River Campaign, 1864


Rear Admiral Porter's fleet above the falls at Alexandria, Louisiana, awaiting the rise of the river, circa May 1864.
Ships moored along the far river bank include (from left to right): ironclad Mound City, two "City" class ironclads (either Carondelet, Louisville or Pittsburg), transport William H. Brown, steamer Benefit, tug Dahlia and ironclad Neosho (in the distance, barely visible).



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